رابطه بین یادگیری سازمانی و عملکرد مالی شرکت در اتحاد استراتژیک: رویکرد احتمالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3997||2008||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 43, Issue 3, July 2008, Pages 365–379
This study examines the relationship between organizational learning and firm-level financial performance in the context of strategic alliances. The strength of the relationship is also examined in light of possible moderating effects of the form, scope, and competitive regime of the alliance. On the whole, results from a survey of 127 German partnering firms support a contingency approach to firm performance using structural equation modeling. Results suggest a significant, positive, and strong relationship between organizational learning and financial performance. This positive relationship is stronger in joint ventures and weaker in contractual alliances. Also, the relationship is stronger when the partners are based on the same industry and weaker when they are across industries. However, while it is proposed that the above relationship will be stronger in alliances with broader scope, the empirical results only partially support this hypothesis.
The pursuit of superior performance at the partnering-firm level has aroused great interest among researchers. In the context of strategic alliances, it is recognized that firm performance cannot be adequately evaluated without taking into consideration firms’ motives for forming alliances. Historically, the purpose of a strategic alliance was to improve performance of the firm through risk sharing and cost reduction. Today, firms strive to pursue superior performance through the development of new products, processes, and services with the help of the partners. As products and services have become increasingly knowledge intensive, the decision to form alliances has gradually come to depend more upon the partners’ abilities to effectively and efficiently learn by acquiring each other's knowledge, resources, and capabilities (Ainuddin, Beamish, Hulland, & Rouse, 2007; Bedrow & Lane, 2003; Hamel, 1991, Inkpen, 1998 and Kale et al., 2000). Although organizational learning has often been viewed as an end in itself, from the perspective of shareholders the final objective of many partnering firms should be an improvement in financial results, such as productivity or profitability. This perspective requires us to shed light on some important research questions. For example, while firms are seeking to gain competitive advantage by engaging in interorganizational learning, we need to understand whether the organizational learning has an impact on their financial performance and whether such impact will be conditioned by other factors. In this paper, we attempt to answer these two questions by conducting an empirical study. A great deal of research has emphasized the importance of organizational learning and the processes through which learning occurs (Bruton, Lohrke, & Lu, 2004). The critical role of organizational learning, in terms of learning orientation, learning capability or learning organization, in overall business or economic performance has been widely documented in the literature (e.g., Calantone, Cavusgil, & Zhao, 2002; Prieto & Revilla, 2006; Tippins & Sohi, 2003). This research has identified organizational learning as a key factor for performance outcomes. And the ability to learn from external sources has become critically important for deriving competitive advantage. The research has, however, examined the learning–performance link mainly at the single firm level. We have therefore relatively limited knowledge about whether organizational learning has a similar impact on firms’ financial results in the context of strategic alliances (compare Simonin, 1997). Further, it seems unlikely that organizational learning will affect firm performance equally under all conditions. Indeed, we know that not all learning strategies will always improve performance (e.g., Baker & Sinkula, 1999; Santos-Vijande, Sanzo-Pérez, Álvarez-González, & Vázquez-Casielles, 2005). Researchers are beginning to recognize that the learning–performance relationship may be contingent on other factors. For example, Calantone et al. (2002) propose that the effect of a firm's learning orientation on its performance depends on the firm's characteristics, i.e., the age of the organization. Mohr and Sengupta (2002) argue also that governance mechanisms may moderate the relationship between interfirm learning and the benefits of such learning. These studies suggest that the effect of learning on performance may magnify under certain conditions but diminish under other conditions. Therefore, it is best to use contingency theory to more accurately examine this relationship. Contingency theory stresses choosing appropriate collaborative settings for enhancing the benefits of learning (e.g., Mohr & Sengupta, 2002; Simonin, 2004). Hence, the present study postulates that the performance impact of organizational learning will be contingent upon three alliance-level contextual factors: the governance form of the alliance, the scope of the joint activity, and the fact that partners may or may not be in competition with each other. The primary aim of this paper is to present a theoretical model and empirical analysis of the relationship between organizational learning and firms’ financial performance in strategic alliances. It also contributes to knowledge about the moderating role of three alliance characteristics in such a relationship. In the next section, the conceptual framework is presented and hypotheses are proposed. Then, the hypotheses of both main and moderating effects are tested on a sample of 127 German partnering firms. Following a discussion of results, we present implications, limitations, and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The literature has long made clear that the relationship between learning and performance is strong within a firm, but the question of how strong it is externally, such as in an alliance context, has remained largely unanswered. In addition, previous research has not yielded a general theory regarding the conditions under which organizational learning contributes most to firm performance. This research was designed to investigate the learning–performance relationship in the alliance context and further to incorporate three alliance-level variables as moderating factors. We developed an organizational learning model of firm-level performance, consisting of two kinds of effect. A simple conceptual model illustrated the direct relationship between organizational learning and financial performance. A second conceptual model used contingency theory to illustrate how the form, scope, and competitive regime of the alliance regulate the learning–performance link. 5.1. Theoretical contributions The aim of this study has been to advance our understanding of the learning–performance relationship at both theoretical and practical levels. Theoretically, the contributions of this paper are twofold. First, although the learning–performance link has often been assumed and tested at the single firm level, there has been little research in the context of strategic alliances. This paper fills this gap by providing empirical support for the idea that a higher level of interorganizational learning is beneficial to alliance firms from the financial performance point of view. It also responds to the call for research on the effect of learning orientation in the area of strategic alliances (Calantone et al., 2002). Second, this paper adds value to the organizational learning literature by demonstrating a contingency approach to firms’ financial performance. In this initial study we offer support that the strength of the learning–performance link is conditioned by the form, scope, and competitive regime of the alliance. This finding suggests that organizational learning has a significant impact on financial performance outcomes only when a proper context of organizational learning is in place. 5.2. Managerial implications The analysis presented in this paper also yields some new conclusions that are potentially important for firms which are engaged in alliances or which plan to form alliances. Findings suggest that realizing superior performance is dependent on the firm's ability to learn from external sources, and that those firms which are devoted to develop learning strategies will enjoy high performance relative to the partners which are not engaged in effective organizational learning. Managers should have learning objectives in mind at the beginning of alliance formation and should attach importance to the organizational learning process throughout the lifetime of the alliance. Furthermore, managers should recognize that organizational learning varies in its capacity to effect performance. Firms in some alliances may be more effective and efficient than in other alliances in their approach for developing an open context propitious to organizational learning and for realizing an obvious improvement in performance outcomes. Managers must craft appropriate governance mechanisms, a moderate scope, and a certain level of interfirm competition which match the learning intention and capability of the partners, so as to maximize the benefits of organizational learning